For the first time, thanks to citizen collaboration, a planetary system is discovered

He crowdsourcing It is defined as the fact of outsourcing tasks that are normally carried out by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call. 2.0 tools allow people to interconnect in different places to better coordinate efforts.

This is how the first planetary system has just been discovered, the first one that is not discovered by professional scientists.

Astronomical crowdsourcing

The citizen scientific project Exoplanet Explorers, developed by UC Santa Cruz astronomer Ian Crossfield and the Caltech staff scientist, Jessie Christiansen, was launched in March 2017. The purpose of this project was to review the huge amount of data obtained from the three years of the K2 mission (the extended mission of the NASA Kepler telescope), in which 287,309 stars were observed .

From the observation of possible transits by a large number of stars, 44 candidates for planets the size of Jupiter, 72 of Neptune size, 44 of Earth size and 53 assumptions of the Super Earth emerged.

By ordering the data received from amateur scientists to find a star with multiple transits, a star was discovered with four planets in orbit. After the discovery was announced, Christiansen and his colleagues continued to study and characterize the system, called K2-138, and a document describing the system has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.